The Fastest (and Shortest) 5K I’ve Ever Run!


The Finish!

I had a very restless night of sleep, as my pinched nerve is, well, pinched. I spent the night  turning on the heating pad and adjusting my left arm, attempting to find a comfortable resting position. But to no avail. Dammit.

I had resigned myself to not racing this morning. Here are but a few of my thoughts:

  • I’m running a half marathon tomorrow. Just treat this as an easy run.
  • If you do run, go out easy and stay easy. No more than a breath every fourth step.
  • Find someone to run with and, well, run with them. No slower, no faster then she or he runs.
  • Don’t run. Don’t even walk. Just do the warmup and then watch.

None of that happened, and this probably comes as a surprise to no one.

In addition to Jeff, Jenn G., Bonnie, Kevin P., Kelli, Mac, Mike, Dan, Lorraine, Doza, and Steve D. represented CrossFit Surmount and ran the race. How awesome is that!

I felt stiff and sore, and was definitely feeling the after effects of the sled pulls. And lateral bar hops. And broad jumps. I wore brand spanking new Altra shoes, lululemon shorts, and CrossFit Surmount tee. And my new Forerunner 25!

I led the brief warmup and the race began at 8. As is common when there are youngsters present, a large group of boys and girls took off quickly once the gun sounded. I thought, “Let the young boys take the lead, but stay with them.” And that’s what I did.

There were a few spectators cheering on the runners as we crested the first hill. I yelled, “Add up the ages of the four runners in front of me and that might be how old I am.” Uhm, and I’d estimate that the boys were no older than 15, and if their average was 13, well, that’d add up to 52. Wow, I’m old. But evidently also fast.

I passed the fourth runner and then the third, and as I passed him I said, “Stay with it, ride my shoulder.” And he did for a little while. I ran behind the second runner, staying about 10m behind him. As we approached a turnaround I began to pass him to the left. As he was wearing headphones (NEVER wear headphones when you race!), he didn’t hear me approach. I easily passed him.

Just one more runner to pass. I settled into my pace. As I got closer to him he would pick up the pace but never truly surge. I keep running at my pace, occasionally glancing at my watch to determine how much of the race remained. I decided that I’d make my move near the finish. However, the frontrunner slowed down considerably, so I surged and easily passed him.

We crested a hill and I saw the school, i.e., the start and finish. I asked the volunteer, “Is that the finish?” “Yes,” she replied. I glanced over my right shoulder (the only time I did so) and sprinted to the finish.

That was a 2.5-mile 5K. Ha!

Time | 16:46
Pace | 6:42
Place | 1st
Cadence | 190 spm
Stride length | 1.25m (4.1′)

I ran the course in reverse and encouraged many of the CrossFit Surmount runners, including Steve D. (ran with him last 100m), Jenn G. (strongest finish), Kelli (almost passed Kevin), Kevin, Mike, Doza, and Lorraine (best smile). Jeff’s back had given out, so I walked him to the finish.

Whilst traveling to Elmo’s Diner for a group breakfast Jeff said, “It amazes me how fast you run.” “I didn’t run very fast today,” I replied. “Your slow run is faster than most people’s fast run.” Ha!

I won a Yeti cup and some pumpkin-scented soap. Pumpkins should only be used for carving and to make pie. That’s it.

Leading the warmup
CrossFit Surmount represents!


Maybe two beers is two beers too many. I didn’t sleep well last night and it was difficult for me to will myself out of bed to start my run at 6:45.

As planned, I ran 13.1 miles, i.e., a half marathon, today. My legs felt tired from the start and I averaged a very slow 8:13 mpm pace. That’s a time of 1:47:37. Did I mention that that’s slow? Granted, it was truly a half marathon, as there were no other runners, no water stations, no miles markers, etc., but I just couldn’t seem to get in my zone.

I began at the White Oak Church entrance of ATT and traveled north for just over 2 miles. I did this thinking that I might run into some CFSers on my return. Didn’t happen. I stopped, quickly consumed a Gu and relieved myself, and I was only my was from the remaining 9 or so miles. I headed South, once again thinking that I might run into some CFSers returning from their morning run. Didn’t happen.

My run cadence was all over the map, and I can’t recall a time in the recent past when I’ve been so inconsistent. Average cadence was 190 and max was 200 spm. Splits were all over the place as well, with my fastest mile (mile 13) clocking 7:03 and slowest mile (mile 9) clocking 8:49. That’s almost a very slow 9-minute mile! Gah!

I wore new bright yellow shorts, Surmount tee, trail socks, and Altra shoes. The trail socks may have been too thick. I didn’t wear a hat but wore sports glasses. Everything was soaking wet, including shoes and socks, by the end of the run.

I truly wish that people would exhibit proper etiquette when using the public trails. I observed the following:

  • Two large groups of walkers taking up the entire width of the trail. It was nearly impossible — and also quite dangerous — for runners and/or bikers to pass.
  • Bikers not bothering to call out, i.e., “Bike to your left!”
  • Bikers (albeit very few) calling out as they passed. It’s too late by then, folks.
  • Runners traveling against traffic, i.e., to their left. Uhm, this isn’t London.


Hang Power Clean (5 X 3 @ 70%, 3 X 3 @ 80%, 1 X 3 @ 90%)

I had every intention of resting today. I attended the 6 am session and used that time to get things done around the box, but I didn’t work out. I could’ve worked out again at 9:30 but I took Luke for a walk instead. I coached the 11:45 session. Jenn G. and Bill had reserved spots, but Jenn G. was a no show. A no show! No one likes to work out alone, so I joined Bill. I did, however, take it easy, as I’m still nursing that damned sore left shoulder.

I completed sets @ 100, 125, & 140#. Bill noticed the wonkiness of my left shoulder. Dammit.

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

Double under tabata
Score = total number of reps, i.e., not true tabata

My shoelaces came untied not once but twice! Gah! I took a little longer than 10 seconds to tie them. Stupid shoelaces. I certainly can’t recall how many reps I got each round.

Score = 287

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

10-min AMRAP
10 power snatches (95)
10 burpees

I should’ve rested, lowered weight of PS, or even substituted PC for PS.

PS felt light at the start, but by the 7th reps I was struggling. More than anything I was protecting my shoulder. I began to miss reps the 2nd round, and wasn’t able to complete at least 5 or 6. Before starting the 3rd round I asked myself, “If you were a coach and observing this performance, what would you notice?” Uhm, I wan’t completing the high pull; thus, I was unable to effectively pull myself under the bar. So that’s what I did, and I completed all of the 10 reps without a single failed attempt. I did the same for the 4th round as well, although I did miss the 10th rep because I feared that I’d run out of time. I completed last rep and managed to get in 1 last burpee. Yay?

Score = 3 + 11


Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
32-min AMRAP
Run 1/4 mile forwards
Run 1/4 mile backwards
~ Rest 1 minute between rounds ~

Each 1/2 = 1 rep

I ran on the ATT at 1:30 in the afternoon. It was a warm 86 degrees, and that feels cool compared to recent temperatures.

Slightly uphill odd- and slightly downhill even-numbered intervals.

4:52, 4:19, 4:45, 4:39, 4:40, 4:18

I focused on breathing every third step both traveling forward and backward, keeping hips and shoulders squared, and keeping pace with foot strikes, again, running both forward and backward. Yes, the intervals weren’t consistent, and that’s to be expected given the differences between running backwards uphill and downhill. I really had to work hard to ensure that my last interval was the fastest.

Uhm, during the 3rd interval I was running backwards ahead of and at the same pace as a male runner traveling forwards. I avoided eye contact.

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